Energy and Climate Minister Nick Hurd has insisted the UK will ratify the COP21 climate deal “as quickly as possible”.
Speaking at a climate change event in London yesterday, he said: “Please be under no illusion, we will ratify Paris and we will do it as quickly as possible. Of course Brexit changes so much. The EU was very unlikely to have been at the start of the ratification process.
“Climate change is there as one of the biggest, if not the biggest threat, to both our national and global security and to prosperity. It remains an enormously difficult political challenge that carries very major risks but as is becoming increasingly evident, it is an agenda with a lot of opportunity, which we are determined to harness.”
He went on to suggest the COP21 Paris Agreement will help establish a global framework of accountability and setting defined ambitions, providing a foundation to build upon at COP22 in Marrakech.
Mr Hurd said businesses have a responsibility to invest in renewables and drive the market, saying: “The voice of business is really, really critical. They must be bold, positive, ambitious and committed to action.”
Mike Barry, Head of Sustainability at M&S, who was one of the panelists at the event, instead seemed to think the bulk of responsibility lay with the government.
He said: “I think one of the roles of the new ministry is to make the calling for other ministries to become carbon literate. It needs to encourage businesses with regards to efficiency, resilience in supply chains and green business models.”
The Labour Party has recently called upon Theresa May to ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as possible.